It can be tricky to find out where to start when looking for the right space for your organization, so we put together the ultimate guide.
Yoga has swept the world in its calming arms, creating nations of more relaxed and fit individuals. Maybe you were hooked after the first class, or maybe your sister dragged you to one class after another, and you decided to stick with it. Either way, you became better at the practice. Maybe it wasn’t long until you desired to become a yogi, logging incredible hours and attending teacher training. After 200 hours or more of said teacher training to become a yogi, or even to become a teacher of the ancient practice, you found yoga to be such an important part of your daily life, you’re now considering opening a yoga studio.
After logging hundreds—maybe even thousands—of hours in teacher training, committing to your own personal practice, and learning under the guidance of an experienced yogi, you’re ready to take the next step. Like any other business, it’s a challenging process, but it can be incredibly rewarding in the long run. We’ve compiled some of the most important steps and pieces of consideration for yogis in your position. We are proud of the work you’ve put in and are excited for your new business venture—let’s get started!
There will be obstacles, but we’re here to help
Many yogis considering opening a yoga studio sit at this point and wonder where to start—that might have even been what led you to this blog.
There are a few prevalent obstacles most yogis face when looking into opening a yoga studio, and this can translate into difference sources of fears, making even the most dedicated yogis reconsider if this is the right path for them. This is more than okay! Think twice—three times, even. Opening and running a business is hard work, and it isn’t for everyone, but don’t let fear stop you from starting the studio of your dreams. Here is the main obstacle to consider before starting:
Unless you’ve owned or operated a business, or have gone to business school, most of the process of starting a studio will be different and overwhelming. It’s not something they teach you in teacher training. You’ll have to become familiar with the world of business if you want to have a successful studio. Yoga studio owners are simultaneously yogis and entrepreneurs. This combination doesn’t come easy to everyone going into this process, but fear not, with passion and drive, you’ll be able to pick up the business aspect.
This isn’t the only obstacle, of course, but this is the big one that encompasses all of the minor ones that you’ll face in your journey to opening a studio. If you’re already business savvy, great! Read on. If business is your least favorite subject, I’m sorry to say you’re going to have to learn to understand it, even if you don’t ever learn to like it. We want to encourage you to keep reading and researching, as some of the best accomplishments in life happen when we start at what seems like the bottom of the knowledge pole.
At SpaceTogether, we are a team of experts looking to help out entrepreneurs and dream chasers of all types, AKA you! So, we’ve listed out the most important steps to starting a yoga studio. Let’s get to it.
So, how do I actually start?
First things first, create a business plan. This is the most vital part of your whole business venture.
That’s not quite what we mean by vital, but okay. Now that we have established just how important this step is, let’s talk about what goes in this business plan.
Space: How much space do you need? Are you ready to sign a lease? If not, have you considered space sharing while you grow and develop your business? Space sharing is a great place for new business to start, and using SpaceTogether, we can help you find an existing gym or studio for you to start your business out of. This can be a regular gym, crossfit gym, or dance studio. Running a business is expensive, but we’ve seen organizations cover their overhead from 60-100% with space sharing. This will cut your startup costs significantly, and you won’t be locked into a lease you may not be ready for.
- Money: Where will you get your startup costs? Loan? Partner? Investors?
- Students: How many students are you looking to have in each class? How many will it take to break even? This is directly linked to how much space you need and how much you will have to charge as well as what kind of specials you can afford to offer.
- Location: This is everything for a brand new studio, as you will most likely have several competitors in the same city, perhaps even a block away.
- Parking: Linked to location, this needs to be considered because unless you offer killer prices or spectacular benefits, clients won’t want to pay for parking or fight for it. You have to make it easy for them.
- Marketing: You’ll want to come up with a marketing and branding plan. This is so important that we’ve given marketing its own section below with more detailed information.
The most important aspect of your business plan is to be realistic and honest, and stick to it as best you can, but be flexible when necessary. Not everything goes to plan, but staying close to it always helps!
After building a solid business plan, the actual legal part starts. This may a source of stress for you, but remember that all business owners (some who don’t even like the business aspect) have to do this, and you’re never alone. Always feel free to reach out to other businesses, studios, and professionals with questions.
Type of business: What kind of business are you looking to open? There are several different types meant for people with different needs and purposes. This site has a comparison chart to help you determine which is best for you.
- Register your business and obtain your tax ID numbers.
- Apply for your state specific licenses and permits (if you’re going to be selling anything out of your studio).
- Open a business account and hire an accountant (unless you’re really skilled with taxes, like, really skilled).
- Getting the proper business insurance. This site can help you decide which is best for you.
Lastly, marketing and branding. I have a sneaky suspicion that this is one of the last things on your mind as you consider opening your studio, as legal steps usually take priority. We’re just here to tell you not to underestimate the importance of branding your business and marketing for it.
Your studio won’t be the only one in town unless you move to a really, really small town. Even then, you’ll have to convince that small town why they should do yoga. Assuming you’re in a city, or average-sized town, you’ll have competitors. A good amount of them. You’ll have to convince residents that your studio is the one they should go to, and this is how you’ll do it:
Branding: When you brand your studio, you’ll need to keep your target audience in mind. Ask yourself questions like: What kind of members am I looking for? Who is going to be the most consistent and loyal, wanting to keep their membership going month after month? Who will bring their friends and family? Once you’ve established your target market, you need to decide what it is you are to specialize in and what you and your team of instructors can offer them. These aspects go hand in hand when attracting your audience. If you’re in a college town or big city, perhaps you want to offer late night classes. Think about what will attract your target audience and make your studio unique.
- Marketing: Once you’ve branded your business, you need to advertise it. Just having your awesome studio won’t attract nearly enough clients. Starting out, your cheapest and best friend will be social media. Before going ham on social media though, make sure your website is easy to use, informative, and appealing. This gives potential clients a place to go to see hours, types of classes, specials, and prices. Use social media as a way to lure them to your website, advertise the unique aspects of your studio, and offer specials for new clients.
As we mentioned above, branding and marketing are vital in actually getting customers. Don’t skimp out on these steps! If you can do all of this on your own, awesome! If not, you can use a platform like Upwork to hire someone to do it for you.
What did we learn?
We’ve listed a lot of steps and information in this post, but before running away overwhelmed, let’s just go over some of the biggest takeaways.
- If you’re not a business person, get familiar because you’re about to be both a yogi and an entrepreneur.
- Have a plan, and stick to it as much as possible.
- Take care of the legal portion. There’s a lot, but it doesn’t have to be done in a day. Take it one step at a time, breathe, and ask for help when confused.
- Brand your business, and market it. Show your city how wonderful your business is, so they’ll want to be a part of it.
- Remember that you’re doing this because you love yoga and the impact it has had on your life and others’ lives. You’ve got this.
Before you go
Long term commercial space is not the only option. Grow your organization with space sharing. From finding good, reliable shared spaces to handling logistics along the way, SpaceTogether is here to help you. To signup, click here!